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by Abigail Van Buren

Unhappy Wife Is Loath to Be First in Her Family to Divorce

DEAR ABBY: I'm 13, and I have had a few problems with my boyfriend's family. I got him in trouble a few times, and I feel really bad about it, even though I'm not a bad person. We have talked about things we shouldn't have talked about at our age and used bad language. His parents have gotten on him about it.

I tried to talk to his mother, but I have the feeling they don't particularly like me even though she says she has nothing against me. I know my boyfriend's older sister doesn't like me and doesn't want me and her brother to be together.

We are now being forced to break up until he is respectful enough to have a girlfriend, even though he is very respectful. I feel like this all revolves around me, and I want to get his family to know the real me and give me another chance. What should I do? -- FORCED TO BREAK UP IN MISSISSIPPI

DEAR FORCED TO BREAK UP: Thirteen is young for a serious romance, and your boyfriend's family may be worried that you are trying to rush him into a relationship for which he isn't ready. For now, the smart move would be to put some distance between you and your boyfriend.

If you stand any chance of improving your standing with his mother and sister, a step in the right direction would be to clean up your bad language. Another would be to concentrate your efforts on becoming someone they can respect -- a good student, active in a youth group or sports activity. If they can see a positive change in you, they may be more receptive to your being in his life. And if they don't, your time won't have been wasted because you will have become a more successful person.